By Kaila Stencil, UW Extension Food WIse Nutrition Educator for Kewaunee County
Are you a home gardener? If so, you are likely in the midst of harvesting produce from your garden after the many hours of planting, watering and weeding. There are a few things to keep in mind before eating produce to steer clear of harmful bacteria.
- All produce should be thoroughly washed before eating. Wash produce under cold water right before eating, cutting or cooking. Even if you plan to peel the produce, it is still important to wash it first.
- Washing fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent is not recommended. Do not use bleach. Use a produce brush and dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- Be aware of the potential for garden tools, hands, clothes, shoes, or gloves to become contaminated when working with manures and composting materials.
- Throw out cut fruits and vegetables if they have been sitting at room temperature for longer than two hours or at temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for longer than 1 hour.